Cee’s Compose Yourself Photo Challenge: Week #6 Horizontal Lines and Horizon

It was not that long ago that I snapped pictures with little thought to composition – lines, angles, rule-of-thirds, lighting, shadows or any of those other things that photographers like to think about. For this challenge, I have selected six pictures from the archives where I actually did think about horizontal lines and horizons! Take a look at each picture and then read the recap underneath it for how the capture came to be!

(Click on any picture for an enlargement and a closer look!)

We rode the ferry to and from Mackinac Island. I wanted a picture of the Grand Hotel and tried to work out the angles to get a few horizontal planes. Here we have the roof line, the rows of windows, the front of the porch overhang, the flags (we can see a few of them), the tree line below the hotel and the shore line too. There is even a small horizontal rail going along the perimeter road on the lower right of the view.

The sunrise is from our hotel balcony looking east over Lake Huron. Rows of blue, orange and blue sky at the top, then we get the horizon and a band of brightness in the water. In the lower half of the picture we can see row upon row of horizontal ripples as they course towards us and the shore line that is out of sight at the bottom of the shot. I look at this picture and it draws me from the top down to the bottom.

As the Tahquamenon River snakes through the woods we see several horizontal falls and rapids along with an outcropping of horizontal rock layers. Once I follow the river down to the bottom corner my eye moves up and around the picture counter-clockwise.

Here we see multiple horizons: the pier, the freighter and the island across the channel, the interface between the bluer sky and the white clouds topped off by a patch of gray clouds.

This is an odd-ball entry – I took this picture from the lookout atop the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument in Indianapolis. I meant to look down the street toward the Capitol Building. But I got an anomalous blending of the horizon with the reflection in the big, blue Marriott Hotel. Just for the record, the Marriott is not a see-through building – this is really a reflection!

On a recent walk in a nearby park, I looked down a dried-out creek bed and happened to see these two horizontal features – a fallen tree and a foot bridge. These horizontals broke up this image but still pulled my focus out into the color of the woodland.

See more interpretations of this challenge at Cee’s Compose Yourself Photo Challenge: Week #6 Horizontal Lines and Horizon!


    1. Thank you Cee. Actually, it is not a bridge. I magnified the picture – what appears to be the bridge deck is an odd reflection at the seam between two floors. The upright structures include a couple of church steeples and a clock tower. The Marriott is concave so it is difficult to triangulate the reflections (I have tried on google maps!) I am tempted to go to the hotel and look out the windows somewhere to figure it all out!


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